My Beading Year 2021 - Day 1

posted: Monday, 04 January 2021

I've written before about how I began beading but as the today's theme for #MyBeadingYear is 'How I started beading' here is the story again.

It was back in February 2001 that I caught the beading bug.

I had always done lots of arts & crafts and would occasionally pop into a local bead shop to ohh & ahh over the beads, but I was so baffled by sizes, choices, instructions, etc. that I didn't know where to start.
Back then I couldn't find any magazines to help me and didn't have the access to the Internet most of us have now.

Then I visited a cross-stitch fair with one of my sisters (who didn't do any crafts) and came across a stand with Daphne Ashby & Jackie Woolsey selling their book 'Why Not Make a Beaded Amulet Purse' as a kit.
I was amazed; here was what I had been looking for –someone else had worked out what beads I needed and added in the needle & thread– perfect!

I went to buy it and my sister refused to let me –she said I did too many hobbies already and the kit was ugly…
But I wasn't going to let that put me off; I wanted until she went to the loo and sneaked back and bought it in secret!

As soon as I got home I began to make my purse and that was it – I was addicted.
I then made another when I began thinking 'what would happen if…' which has stayed with me ever since and is what I think when I bead anything which leads me on to my next design.

Next I learnt Peyote Stitch (from the wonderful book 'Creative Beadweaving' by Carol Wilcox Wells) and, whilst playing around with that, discovered how to make corners and change shape & beading direction…

Since then I've beaded thousands of pieces, written 9 books, edited a beading magazine, recorded many videos, travelled the World, taught thousands of students and made many friends along the way.
Every day beading is a part of my life whether it's beading, writing about it, drawing diagrams, running beading websites, answering emails or teaching classes -and I love it and am so glad I got started.

I can really say finding those little seed beads 20 years ago truly changed my life… good job I didn't listen to my sister!

Clockwise from top left: my first amulet purse, my second amulet when I began thinking 'what if' and began altering the stitch, the first amulet I designed, my first finished piece of geometric beadwork